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If pubs realize f2p monetization brings more money for MP games, PS+ will lose its value unless Sony bombard the service with 1st party MP games.

megreotsugua

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We're seeing more and more free-to-play MP games as this attracts both gamers and casuals. Little by little publishers are realizing that free-to-play monetization brings more profit for their multiplayer games. Activision for example is now banking on their newfound success with a free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone. Will this trend continue? Will publishers follow the free-to-play route for their multiplayer games?

If the answer is yes, then PS+ will gradually lose its value, unless Sony do something about it.

I propose:

1. Increase first-party (and second-party) development of multiplayer games.
2. Also, maybe revive Warhawk, Socom, PS HOME, and those MP games which were successful in the past.
3. Release some of those games day 1 on PS+. (We already have a precedent with Destruction Allstars.)
4. Cancel PSNow* and integrate its business model and games to PS+ Collection and call it PS+ Premium at a higher price.
5. PS+ Premium will have early access, day 1 discounts and more gamer-centric benefits.

*streaming strategy should be separate

What do you think?


(a side note) Streaming Strategy:

1. Cancel PSNow entirely and make a new brand (Sony+?) that will target the casuals.
2. Include Sony movies, tv shows, anime, and videogames in a single package.
3. Accessible through a single app.
4. Available on all devices.
 
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skit_data

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They have added good Single Player games since a couple of years back, and they haven’t had a PS+ requirement for F2P games since... ever so I think they’ve found a pretty good balance. They offer good games, at least. They have definitely increased in quality as well, especially in the last 6 months.

PS+ main point never was to make money on users that only play multiplayer. It was created to offer monthly games and better discounts to members. It changed going into last gen, mainly because their competitor made tons of ”free” cash on it.

The attention should rather be turned to Xbox Live Gold, which has had no good reason to exist for years and with them finally removing the need for it to play F2P games even less so
 

lh032

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1st party free multiplayer game on PS Plus should help increase the subscription base.
 

megreotsugua

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1st party free multiplayer game on PS Plus should help increase the subscription base.

Well, technically it is not free. I agree it will increase the subscription base. Also, considering they are MP games, having mtx wouldn't get much backlash.
 

ReBurn

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Considering how much people complain about micro transactions I'd be surprised if traditional multiplayer dies in favor of F2P. If the cut that Sony and Microsoft gets from transactions offsets what they lose in plus/gold subs the probably won't care. If it doesn't they'll just make people pay to play online.
 

Amiga

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F2P currency is bought on the PSN store. Sony get a share of that. requiring MP would be double charging.
 
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Bonfires Down

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Sony gets 30% of F2P transactions so I don’t think they are worried. I’m sure they’ll keep improving the free game offerings on PS+ as they’ve already been doing for a while.

 

megreotsugua

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If the cut that Sony and Microsoft gets from transactions offsets what they lose in plus/gold subs the probably won't care.

I think f2p mtx money will more than offset the "potential decrease" in subscription numbers. I say "potential" because that doesn't necessarily have to happen. They can combat it with a more robust PS+.
 
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Amiga

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Considering how much people complain about micro transactions I'd be surprised if traditional multiplayer dies in favor of F2P. If the cut that Sony and Microsoft gets from transactions offsets what they lose in plus/gold subs the probably won't care. If it doesn't they'll just make people pay to play online.

Western publishers dream to reach the levels of monetization in Asia. Western player resistance held them back thank God. I hope this lasts long.
 

megreotsugua

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F2P currency is bought on the PSN store. Sony get a share of that.

I'm aware of that. Hence, Sony could also just follow that free-to-play monetization with their planned MP games. F2P bring the monies.

As an alternative though, just put in PS+ to increase its value. And there could still be mtx. Hopefully not too intrusive though.
 
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reinking

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Sony like any company is going to go where the money is. Even if they resist it at first in the end dollars rule. You can look at PS+ as an example.

MTX are unfortunately a part of gaming now. That are not going away. My hope is Sony does not embrace the model as much as that other company and start telling us how much better GAAS is going to be for us consumers.
 
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yurinka

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Only a few top games make a ton of money with F2P, all the other F2P games tank and aren't profitable. Both in console/PC and mobile.

Paid games for console and PC are a safest bet for most companies.

Activision for example is now banking on their newfound success with a free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone. Will this trend continue? Will publishers follow the free-to-play route for their multiplayer games?
Like ~80-90% of the F2P players never pay in a game, so F2P games nee insanely huge userbases. Call of Duty is an insanely big brand only comparable to maybe 4 or 5 more, and Activision is the biggest publisher in console so they can spend a huge amount of money on marketing to throw there more players. CoD going F2P is a case in a million. Like Fortnite, it isn't a formula that all the other big publishers could easily replicate.

On top of that, GaaS/F2P require a ton of time invested there from players, which blocks them from playing other games. So they amount of F2P/GasS that can have a big success is limited. There isn't enough time for all of them.
 
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MastaKiiLA

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Are people really subscribing to PS+ just to play multiplayer? I always thought the main appeal was the giveaways, and also the fact that it's not expensive. $5 per month at full price, which is less than a fast food meal in many countries. I have a PS+ sub, and no console. Just have it to collect games while I wait for a PS5.
 
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megreotsugua

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Only a few top games make a ton of money with F2P, all the other F2P games tank and aren't profitable. Both in console/PC and mobile.

Paid games for console and PC are a safest bet for most companies.

But the ability to play online the big games like Call of Duty is what really brought the numbers up. If those big games go free-to-play and find success then paying for online wouldn't make much sense for many online players. Unless Sony creates its own pool of players through its own MP games that can only be played through PS+.


Are people really subscribing to PS+ just to play multiplayer? I always thought the main appeal was the giveaways, and also the fact that it's not expensive.

IMO, there's a large chunk of subscribers who are in it to play multiplayer.
 
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Bryank75

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I started subscribing before it was necessary for online play, back on PS3.... it was just for the free games and... possibly cloud save.

I am not playing much multiplayer right now, not for the last few months but the huge catalog of games I've built up through the service is worth keeping available to me. I also use the cloud saves to switch between our 2 PS5's and sometimes the Pro.

I think if they keep putting some desirable or at least good quality games on there, it keeps adding to the value of your backlog. I must be approaching 400 games now....
 

yurinka

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But the ability to play online the big games like Call of Duty is what really brought the numbers up. If those big games go free-to-play and find success then paying for online wouldn't make much sense for many online players. Unless Sony creates its own pool of players through its own MP games that can only be played through PS+.
At least in my case, I pay PS+ because they give me enough games I like that cover that price, and with their discounts I save enough money every year that covers that price too. I almost don't play online, and when I do it is on paid games I don't like F2P games. I assume there must be plenty of players like me.

The PS+ subscriptions continued growing at the same pace after Fortnite or the CoD Warfare release, so they don't affect PS+. Maybe paid MP games like CoD, FIFA and so on are still way more popular than the F2P games.

Sony also get 30% from the F2P game microtransactions, so it's ok for them. F2P don't require PS+ because Sony may have seen that it works better for them: F2P games need a bigger userbase so didn't make sense to limit them to their subscribers but instead to give them to the entire PS userbase seems to be a better deal both for the dev and for Sony.

No they don't if gamers decides to purchase cosmetics and Battle Passes on competitors platform.
In the Epic vs Apple trial they did show that for crossplatform games with cross-save they check if the revenue the game gets from each platform matches with the playtime of the players on each platform. If there is a big difference where players play more on PS but spend more elsewhere, the dev compensates Sony for it.

So Sony's butt is safe.
 
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megreotsugua

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At least in my case, I pay PS+ because they give me enough games I like that cover that price, and with their discounts I save enough money every year that covers that price too. I almost don't play online, and when I do it is on paid games I don't like F2P games. I assume there must be plenty of players like me.
You have to keep in mind that PS+ numbers only really start to grown exponentially when it became a requirement sine qua non for online play. So we cannot discount the fact that many players are subscribed because of the ability to play online.
The PS+ subscriptions continued growing at the same pace after Fortnite or the CoD Warfare release, so they don't affect PS+. Maybe paid MP games like CoD, FIFA and so on are still way more popular than the F2P games.
Yeah I don't see games like FIFA will be f2p anytime soon.
Sony also get 30% from the F2P game microtransactions, so it's ok for them.
Financially, I can see that it wouldn't move the needle. I'm only looking at it from the point of view of potential decrease in PS+ numbers. I thought that doesn't necessarily have to happen if Sony would be willing to grow the service through different measures I mentioned in the OP.
F2P don't require PS+ because Sony may have seen that it works better for them: F2P games need a bigger userbase so didn't make sense to limit them to their subscribers but instead to give them to the entire PS userbase seems to be a better deal both for the dev and for Sony.
F2P should not require PS+. That was a good call from Sony.
 

ReBurn

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Sony like any company is going to go where the money is. Even if they resist it at first in the end dollars rule. You can look at PS+ as an example.

MTX are unfortunately a part of gaming now. That are not going away. My hope is Sony does not embrace the model as much as that other company and start telling us how much better GAAS is going to be for us consumers.
Sony is not opposed to GAAS by any means. PS+ and PSNow are GAAS offerings. If Sony had a way to get you to pay monthly to access their blockbusters that generated the same revenue that direct sales of their blockbusters generates they would probably do it. Recurring revenue is more desirable than one time sales for most companies.

I don't think that it's wrong to believe that gaming subscription services will play an important role in the future of gaming. It's already been successfully implemented in almost every other form of media. Gamers are just arrogant in thinking that gaming is somehow different and special and they're weird to want to continue to pay many hundreds to thousands of dollars per year to do it as some sort of "hardcore" badge of honor.
 

megreotsugua

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Could we discard the idea that COD Warzone have somehow influenced this little drop?


PES has gone f2p model. Fifa 23 is also now rumored to be going free-to-play. I could see this trend to continue.
 
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PS+ lets you play f2p games because Sony gets a cut of all the DLC you get in those games. The point of not charging is that it makes people more likely to buy that DLC, I assume the calculation was that lowering the barrier of entry for these games made them more money in the end (and those who play them happier/more likely to buy a PS system over an xbox).

I'd rather all multi-player games become f2p at this point, just don't break single player games with this kind of BS.
 
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megreotsugua

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The point of not charging is that it makes people more likely to buy that DLC, I assume the calculation was that lowering the barrier of entry for these games made them more money in the end (and those who play them happier/more likely to buy a PS system over an xbox).
It was a good decision to let f2p games to be f2p games. I agree with the reasons you gave.
 

ksdixon

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They deffinatley need to consolidate and rebrand some things together... and decide what exactly they want to do. Like... what's the point in having both PSNow and Bravia Core? Why bother with Bravia Core if you've inked a deal to send your TV and Films exclusively to Netflix, and going on with Netflix game streaming when PSNow already exists?

I still don't think they need to kill PSNow, or throw their 1st party onto PSNow on Day 1... but I do think that they need to be more like Xbox GP in terms of allowing downloadability for all PSNow games, and stop ignoring Backwards Compatability.

On the MP/F2P aspect, I think they need to revive MP IP's and go alll-out with cosmetic dlc/seasons of content drops. Have evergreen support for the likes of TLOU Factions, SOCOM, MAG, WarHawk, MGS3 Online, MGS TPP Online etc.
 

Kerotan

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Sony having it F2P would have led to more people choosing PlayStation over xbox. Not only that but for the likes of fortnight way more people would have been playing it on PlayStation without the need for plus and therefore way more micro transactions on playstation. Sony get a 30% cut from this so they aren't really losing.
 

kyliethicc

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We're seeing more and more free-to-play MP games as this attracts both gamers and casuals. Little by little publishers are realizing that free-to-play monetization brings more profit for their multiplayer games. Activision for example is now banking on their newfound success with a free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone. Will this trend continue? Will publishers follow the free-to-play route for their multiplayer games?

If the answer is yes, then PS+ will gradually lose its value, unless Sony do something about it.

I propose:

1. Increase first-party (and second-party) development of multiplayer games.
2. Also, maybe revive Warhawk, Socom, PS HOME, and those MP games which were successful in the past.
3. Release some of those games day 1 on PS+. (We already have a precedent with Destruction Allstars.)
4. Cancel PSNow* and integrate its business model and games to PS+ Collection and call it PS+ Premium at a higher price.
5. PS+ Premium will have early access, day 1 discounts and more gamer-centric benefits.

*streaming strategy should be separate

What do you think?


(a side note) Streaming Strategy:

1. Cancel PSNow entirely and make a new brand (Sony+?) that will target the casuals.
2. Include Sony movies, tv shows, anime, and videogames in a single package.
3. Accessible through a single app.
4. Available on all devices.
PS Plus began as a sub service for monthly game downloads. The paid online multiplayer aspect was added years later.

If the day comes where most multiplayer is free to play, Sony will just refocus Plus back to what it began as.
 
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Aion002

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Well Sony and Microsoft does bring value to f2p games with Plus and Gold.

For example, I play Smite and every month both PS Plus and Live Gold brings extra stuff, like skins and even characters.


Same thing happens on Fortnite, Warframe, Paladins, Apex and others.


So there's value in subscribing to those services even if you are a f2p gamer.

I guess they just need to be more aggressive with the extra stuff and they will be fine.
 
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megreotsugua

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They deffinatley need to consolidate and rebrand some things together... and decide what exactly they want to do. Like... what's the point in having both PSNow and Bravia Core? Why bother with Bravia Core if you've inked a deal to send your TV and Films exclusively to Netflix,
Sony films earn its revenue traditionally through cinema. Then they are sold to TV or streaming services whoever is willing to pay. Netflix exclusivity is only for a limited time. Then Disney+ also pays Sony for the inclusion of its movies.

Basically this is how it goes:
1. Cinema
2. Pay1 (with exclusivity premium price)
3. Pay2 (Disney's contract is not exclusive I think)
4. Subsequent - At this point the movies are cheap and many of their IPs are sleeping. They could put them in their own streaming service at no cost at this point. It already amassed billions in revenue at this point.

You could read it here. The deal with Netflix and Disney is at a total of $5 billion dollars. That's not including the revenue from the cinema.
Sony also create movies exclusive to streaming platform but they are not exclusive.
Baked into the Netflix pay 1 deal is also a first-look agreement for the streamer to acquire an annual number of movies Sony will make exclusively for streamers — though the arrangement is not exclusive, allowing Sony Pictures to sell to numerous digital buyers.

and going on with Netflix game streaming when PSNow already exists?
I think that was a mistake. Netflix is going mobile gaming for now with its strategy.

I still don't think they need to kill PSNow, or throw their 1st party onto PSNow on Day 1...
I agree they should never do day 1 of their games. But I think PSNow, as how it is now, needs to go. They can integrate PSNow's business model into PS+ Collection, basically combining PS+ and PSNow as many here are saying.

The steaming strategy of "only games", IMO, needs to go. It will not go anywhere.

but I do think that they need to be more like Xbox GP in terms of allowing downloadability for all PSNow games, and stop ignoring Backwards Compatability.
I agree.

On the MP/F2P aspect, I think they need to revive MP IP's and go alll-out with cosmetic dlc/seasons of content drops. Have evergreen support for the likes of TLOU Factions, SOCOM, MAG, WarHawk, MGS3 Online, MGS TPP Online etc.
That would be cool.
 
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megreotsugua

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Sony having it F2P would have led to more people choosing PlayStation over xbox. Not only that but for the likes of fortnight way more people would have been playing it on PlayStation without the need for plus and therefore way more micro transactions on playstation. Sony get a 30% cut from this so they aren't really losing.
I agree it was the best decision. I'm actually not questioning that decision. I'm simply laying down a possible future of key multiplayer titles going free-to-play and in effect would lower the value of PS+. Sony will have to do something about it.
 
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megreotsugua

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Well Sony and Microsoft does bring value to f2p games with Plus and Gold.

For example, I play Smite and every month both PS Plus and Live Gold brings extra stuff, like skins and even characters.


Same thing happens on Fortnite, Warframe, Paladins, Apex and others.


So there's value in subscribing to those services even if you are a f2p gamer.

I guess they just need to be more aggressive with the extra stuff and they will be fine.
That will help with retention for sure.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Would be interesting to see if a multiplayer game not on PC or mobile ever really take it off like the big ones.

We've seen Valve, Nintendo and Microsoft create "exclusive" multiplayer hits. If Sony wants "system sellers" there's no better way to do it than via multiplayer exclusives on the PS5.
 
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reksveks

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We've seen Valve, Nintendo and Microsoft create "exclusive" multiplayer hits. If Sony wants "system sellers" there's no better way to do it than via multiplayer exclusives on the PS5.
Valve is releasing those games on PC so that's covered by my comment
Nintendo is the interesting one and would only count Smash (but that could count)
Microsoft, what game you thinking? I would add they also release on PC.

I think games like Dreams and GoT legends are very much limited by being stuck on one platform. I don't know how GT Sport compares to the other racing games.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Valve is releasing those games on PC so that's covered by my comment
Nintendo is the interesting one and would only count Smash (but that could count)
Microsoft, what game you thinking? I would add they also release on PC.

I think games like Dreams and GoT legends are very much limited by being stuck on one platform. I don't know how GT Sport compares to the other racing games.

All games are limited by being stuck on one platform.

Obviously Sony knows this and still believes in developing PS5 exclusives.

My point is that if Sony wants to create system selling games, and increase player engagement rates, there's no better way to do it than by creating multiplayer exclusives for the PS5.

Will their next batch of multiplayer games be as successful as Fortnite? Probably not. But none of Sonys single player games have come close to reaching that metric either. That's not the goal.
 
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1 million fewer PS+ users means about $50 million less revenue.

But with the giant influx of F2P games, if they generate shit loads of MTX money to counter this, it's still a plus.

Now if they crack down on F2P and force people to pay for MP, the PS+ users might go up, but you'll lose millions of F2P users for popular games. who dont want to pay up.
 
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reksveks

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My point is that if Sony wants to create system selling games, and increase player engagement rates, there's no better way to do it than by creating multiplayer exclusives for the PS5.

Will their next batch of multiplayer games be as successful as Fortnite? Probably not. But none of Sonys single player games have come close to reaching that metric either. That's not the goal.
My issue is that I think there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation, where you have to get a decent amount of momentum to make a game (especially multiplayer just due to the whole streaming ecosystem) a system seller and to do that you might have to make it available on pc which then obviously stops it being a system seller. I could be wrong and it might be possible to make a multiplayer system seller.
 
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megreotsugua

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1 million fewer PS+ users means about $50 million less revenue.

But with the giant influx of F2P games, if they generate shit loads of MTX money to counter this, it's still a plus.

Now if they crack down on F2P and force people to pay for MP, the PS+ users might go up, but you'll lose millions of F2P users for popular games. who dont want to pay up.
Nobody here is arguing the opposite actually.

The 30% will offset the loss in revenue for sure. The potential decrease in subscriber number doesn't have to happen if Sony would be willing to boost it up with countermeasures of their own.
 

megreotsugua

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My issue is that I think there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation, where you have to get a decent amount of momentum to make a game (especially multiplayer just due to the whole streaming ecosystem) a system seller and to do that you might have to make it available on pc which then obviously stops it being a system seller. I could be wrong and it might be possible to make a multiplayer system seller.

What they could do is release the MP games for free on PS+ while it costs $30-$60 on PC.